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Archive for April, 2008

Garden Valley Friday Favorites

Looking For A Gem In The Gem State?

Home For Sale In Mt. ShadowsLocated in one of Garden Valley Idaho’s premier neighborhoods, you’ll find the cut and clarity of this home to be exquisite. The brilliant vistas seen from the expansive front patio extend for miles.

Mt Shadows Home For Sale, Garden ValleyIt’s not every day you can find a subject that reflects the light of true grandness. Make an appointments to visit this rare gem today!

See more details and photographs here.

Garden Valley Mt Shadows Home for Sale3.50 Acres
3760 Sq. Ft.
Main Master
Formal Dining
Built 2004

Available for $699,000

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: No Comments »

Get a CLUE! Getting Insurance on a New Home

Picture it! You are all packed and ready to move in.

You can’t wait. You have finally sold your house in the suburbs and have found the home, in the mountains, that you have always dreamed of.
AhOh! The insurance company calls to let you know that the premiums will be double what you expected. The higher insurance premiums where not calculated into your budget for the new house. This is going to crimp your style.

How can this happen?

Have you ever heard of the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) database? All claims filed against a property are captured in the CLUE database. The CLUE database report provides insurers with an insurance claim history. This report is one tool used by insurers to perform a risk assessment. A look at claims on the property is valuable in identifying damage history. The data may even be indicative of probable future claims activity.
A CLUE report on the Buyer is also used as one benchmark to determine insurance risk.
Hypothetically, a CLUE report that shows a claim paid for flood damage, on a particular property, could result in higher premium payment for a future home owner. Should the new home owner have a CLUE history that reflects frequent insurance claims, the combination could lead to insurance sticker shock.
Insurance companies will also evaluate a Buyer’s credit score to way in on payment risk. Factors in the credit score history may be an indication of the likelihood that premiums will be paid on time.

How to Avoid Surprises.

  1. When preparing to purchase a new home, contact your insurance company to inquire about your insurance health. Some companies may refer to this as your insurance score.
  2. Know your credit score, or FICO score. Take steps to increase your credit score, if necessary. This might help in your insurance costs. Higher credit scores may also earn you better loan terms when financing a new home. Get your free, annual, credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  3. Once you’ve chosen a home to purchase, ask the Sellers to provide you with the homes CLUE report. Property owners are entitled to one free CLUE report each year. They can find their CLUE report at www.choicetrust.com.
  4. Talk to your Realtor about insurance contingencies when offering to purchase a home. A guarantee of affordable insurance may be an important factor to you.
  5. Apply for insurance immediately after an offer to purchase is accepted. If you wait until the last minute, the insurance company will offer initial coverage pending a review of the property. You don’t want to discover, after the fact, that they cannot insure the home for some reason.

Surely, you know the Girl Scout motto. “BE PREPARED“.
Part of your fiscal responsibility includes being aware of your financial health. Know your credit score. Consider your credit health when making major purchases or applying for credit. Talk to your insurance agent about your insurability. Find out what the company policies are for reporting to the CLUE database. Do they only report claims or will an inquiry about a possible claim appear on the database?

Take care of yourself. Schedule a fiscal checkup each year when you schedule your physical checkup.

Related Articles:
Is Your Eye On The Right Financial Target. Healthy Credit Is Not Just For Borrowers Anymore.

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: No Comments »

Is Your Eye On the Right Financial Target?

Don’t Change The Channel. Healthy Credit Is Not Just For Borrowers Anymore.

How important is your FICO score or credit score? As financial institutions swing hard away from the liberal lending policies of the past few years, they are scrutinizing borrows more closely. Lenders use your credit score as an indication of your credit risk. The higher your score, the more likely you are to make your payments and make them on time. Higher scores will receive preferential treatment in the form of lower interest rates. Paying attention to your credit score can save you more than money. It’s important to understand that it’s not just the lenders that use FICO to judge you as an investment. Car dealers, utility companies, landlords, insurance companies and even hospitals all use the same measuring stick. Any entity that is considering investing in you is using FICO. You may be surprised to learn that most employers will check FICO scores before making a hiring decision. Many avenues of your life are impacted by the health of your FICO rating.

According to our neighbors at Les Bois Federal Credit Union:
FICO or Credit Score is a 3 digit number ranging from 300 – 850.
720, or above, are considered good scores.

FICO scores are based on:


35% – Payment History
30% – Amounts Owed
15% – Length of Credit History
10% – Types of Credit Used
10% – New Credit

Credit Scores to US Population:
350 to 499 1%
500 to 549 5%
550 to 599 7%
600 to 649 11%
650 to 699 16%
700 to 749 20%
750 to 799 29%
Over 800 11%

How can you find your FICO score?

At annualcreditreport.com you can request a free credit report once a year.

How can you keep you good credit score healthy?

  1. Pay on time – Keep your payments current
  2. Keep debt to a minimum.
  3. Keep you credit card balances to 30%, or less, of approved limit.
  4. Ask your credit card company to increase your limit if you owe over 30% of your approved limit.
  5. Don’t open new accounts you don’t need.
  6. Don’t close zero balance accounts.
  7. Credit check inquiries can add 5 points to your score, so don’t open several new accounts in a short period.
  8. If you are shopping for a mortgage and several mortgage companies check your credit, it will count as one inquiry.
  9. Checking your own score will not count as an inquiry.
  10. If you find an error on your credit report dispute it. The Federal Trade Commission tells you how.

How can you build credit if you have none?

  1. Establish credit and maintain good credit for at least 6 months
  2. Apply for a credit card and manage it responsibly
  3. Develop a mix of credit types. Include installment credit, such as car loans, and revolving credit, such as credit cards.
  4. Keep debt to a minimum.
  5. Keep credit card balances low
  6. Don’t open new accounts you don’t need.

Get an annual checkup.  Make your credit score health a priority just as you do your physical health.

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: 4 Comments »

Know Your Strenghts and Weaknesses

Is Your Realtor a Mountain Property Specialist?

I love the mountains. I understand them. Mountain property is a unique character. Living in the mountains has it’s own idiosyncrasies. There is snow load, planting seasons, septics, wells, surveys, emergency services, road grading, zoning laws, building codes and on and on.

If a client wanted to hire me to assist them with property in, lets say, the Boise North End. I would have to admit that I am not an expert in the unique characteristics of that neighborhood. Certainly, I can investigate the market. I have many tools available to me for that purpose. But I could never truly know the nuances of the area. It would be in the best interest of the client for me to refer them to an agent who has that particular knowledge.

Buyers and Sellers alike are best serviced when their agent is suited to their needs. Find out if your agent has the expertise you require. Often a client has a great relationship with a particular agent. That agent has done a great job earning your trust and deserves your business. When you need a service that extends beyond your agent’s area of expertise, you can still include them in the transaction. Ask them to find a better suited agent to help you. Most Real Estate companies will agree to offer a generous referral fee to your agent.

After all, would you hire the landscaper to take out your tonsils?
Give your agent my number. Have them ask me about my referral fee.

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: 2 Comments »

Garden Valley Friday Favorite

Gather Friends and Family ‘Round

When I was a kid my favorite daily family ritual was meal time. We all gathered in the kitchen and dining room. It was a time to enjoy the true comforts of home. Good company, good food, good conversation and a time to count our blessings.
River MeadowAmong it’s many amenities, this home is perfect for just such a family ritual. The kitchen is bright and friendly. The formal dining room, with it’s hard wood floors, is warm and inviting. The patio and covered deck offer a fun and spacious place for outdoor entertaining.River Meadow Views

The views from anywhere, inside or out, are breathtaking.

Learn more about this unique property here.


Contact me to set up a showing. I’d love to show you this beautiful home.

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: No Comments »

Garden Valley Friday Favorites

Live Along The River, Live With The River

river lot on middle fork

“The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it. “
- Chinese Philosopher

AHH! To live along the river, be calmed by her constancy, share with her inhabitants, delight in her reflections.

River front lot in Garden Valley

River front property just isn’t being made any more. Come visit these river lots, sit on the banks of the Middle Fork of the Payette and dream of a life by her side.

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: 2 Comments »

Don’t Miss the Garden Valley Spring Fling


Celebrate Spring in Garden Valley Idaho.


Flower Close upEach spring the Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Spring Fling celebration. This year will be no exception. One of my favorite events will be the Arts and Craft Fair. Held at the Crouch Community Hall, the local artisans will awe you with their talents. It’s a great place to pick up some gifts or even a treasure for yourself. Each of the local merchants will have an open house. Expect to find some great sale items. After shopping and visiting with friends and neighbors and making some new friends, relax and enjoy the live music at the Longhorn Restaurant and Saloon. Don’t forget to pick up some raffle tickets. The drawing includes Idaho Steelhead hockey tickets, Grove Hotel reservations, and Garden Valley Trail Rides.

Spring SkyBring your checkbook. Spring Fling proceeds go to the Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund. It’s a great way to participate in furthering the education of our youth.



Saturday April 26th


Don’t forget the Mountain Shadows Stride Fun Run/Walk will be held the same day. Proceeds go to Garden Valley Emergency Services.


Oh! just come for the whole weekend. Idaho Cabin Keepers has a nice selection of mountain cabins to choose from.
Stop by the office and say hello. I’ll be greeting visitors at the Garden Valley Properties office.

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: No Comments »

Spend the Day with Garden Valley Firemen and EMT’s

Benefit Fund Raiser – Fun Run and Walk in Garden Valley

The first annual Mountain Shadows Stride will be held in Garden Valley, Idaho, on April 26th. Everyone is welcome to attend the Fun Run/Walk. Come along and bring your family and friends. Participation is free. There will be Food, Live Music and Fire Department and Ambulance demonstrations. All donations will go directly to Garden Valley Emergency Services.

Running in the mountain shadows fun runSaturday April 26th

Directions: Take Hwy 55 North to Banks. Turn right on the Banks/Lowman Hwy. Approximately 7.5 miles, on your left, is the entrance to Mountain Shadows. Follow the signs to the registration area.

Want to know more about the Stride, Mountain Shadows or Garden Valley? Ask me a question? ”

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Garden Valley Friday Favorites

Mountain Shadows – A Great Place To Call Home

Mountain Shadows EntranceThere are so many beautiful places in the Garden Valley mountains. The Mountain Shadows neighborhood has got to be one of the best. Garden Mountain, Packer John Mountain, Charter Mountain and Scott Mountain can all be seen from various locations within the neighborhood. The developers did an excellent job laying out the properties so that all take the best advantage of the available scenery. The timber, topography and two acre average lot sizes leave home owners feeling a sense of mountain seclusion, while the close proximity to the Banks-Lowman highway makes access easy, year round.

Lots are available from $89,900 to $199,900

Features include:

A visit to Garden Valley is not complete without a tour of Mountain Shadows.

Learn more here about Mountain Shadows

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: No Comments »

Garden Valley Idaho Market Conditions

Just the Facts

There is so much controversy about media coverage of the economy. There are those who believe this is the end of the world, as we know it. There are others who sprinkle flower pedals where ever they tread, and never notice they are stepping in a puddle.South Fork of the Payette River

Here’s your chance to make up your own mind on the current market conditions in Garden Valley, Idaho.

These facts were taken from the Idaho Intermountain MLS.

Hint: Buyers! Are these numbers speaking to you? Now would be a good time to visit Garden Valley.
Click here to search for available Garden Valley homes and land.

Authored by Kathy Vaughan | Discussion: No Comments »

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